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New AI tech finds over 6K new craters on Moon

It uses lunar mapping technology to map the craters on moon.

  • Published: March 17, 2018 3:51 PM IST
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A new artificial intelligence (AI)-based lunar mapping technology has accurately mapped over 6,000 new craters on Earth’s moon in just hours, the media reported. The moon is dotted with a vast number of craters, some billions of years old.

Using the new lunar mapping technique, the technology successfully counted new pockmarks on the moon — some 6,000 of them — through available datasets from previous lunar observation information, Tech Times reported.

“Basically, we need to manually look at an image, locate and count the craters and then calculate how large they are based on the size of the image,” Mohamad Ali-Dib, from the Centre for Planetary Sciences at University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada, was quoted as saying.

For the study, published in the journal Icarus, the team first trained the convolutional neural network on a dataset covering two-thirds of the moon. They then tested the neural network on the remaining third of the moon.

The results yield 92 percent craters from human-generated test sets and almost twice of the total number of crater detections. They were able to spot about 6,000 previously unidentified craters on the moon’s surface.

Out of the new craters discovered, 15 per cent are smaller in diameter than the minimum crater size in the ground-truth dataset. The errors compared to the human-generated datasets are only 11 per cent or less, making the deep-learning tool useful in automatically extracting crater information on various solar system bodies.

The same network also successfully detected craters on Mercury, which has a completely distinct surface compared to the moon, the report said.

  • Published Date: March 17, 2018 3:51 PM IST